Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Public Comment Period on adding qualifying conditions to the Medicinal Marijuana Program

September 13, 2017

New Jersey Department of Health
Medicinal Marijuana Program
P.O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Attn: Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel

Re: Public Comment Period on adding qualifying conditions to the Medicinal Marijuana Program

To whom it may concern:

I want to thank the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel (MMRP) for giving initial approval to 43 of the 45 petitions to add qualifying conditions to New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP).

Members of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana—New Jersey (CMMNJ) submitted or contributed to eight of these petitions, seven of which were approved by the panel, so it was gratifying to see this affirmation of our efforts. The panel recognizes, as CMMNJ does, that there are a great many New Jersey residents who are currently suffering with conditions that could be helped by medical marijuana.

Our main concern is the agonizingly slow pace of the process to expand patient access to the MMP. It has been over one year since the Department of Health (DOH) accepted the petitions that it is now considering.  The MMRP made its initial recommendations to expand the program on 5/11/17, but it took two and a half months, until 7/25/17, for the DOH to post these recommendations on its web site and start the 60-day public comment period. These delays cause needless suffering.

CMMNJ urges the Commissioner of the DOH to end these delays and to adopt the final recommendations of the panel immediately, and not wait 180 days to do so. Thank you.


Ken Wolski, RN, MPA
Executive Director
Coalition for Medical Marijuana--New Jersey, Inc.
219 Woodside Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08618


  1. I totally agree. These delays have caused tremendous suffering for so many. My cousin was suffering from herniated discs in her back which were inoperable. Then she developed sciatica and spinal stenosis. Her doctors had her on so many opioids, it was alarming to see her try to function. It was suggested to her she might want to try marijuana, but being the straight laced "goody good" she was known to be, she said she'd try it when it became legal. One night she took her usual dosage of OxyContin, and the next morning her daughter found her dead on the floor. The coroner said he cold find nothing other than a "therapeutic" dose of her opioid in her system with no other substances present. Dead at 42 with no major health problems. Coroner said her system just couldn't handle her usual dosage that night. If there had been a reasonable medical marijuana program in NJ, I believe Diana would still be alive. I personally think the Dept. of Health has been complicit in hindering the medical marijuana program in NJ. If the Commissioner cannot find it in her conscience to act decisively and speedily in implementing these additions to the qualifying conditions list, then if Sen. Murphy is elected and legalizes marijuana across the board, I respectfully request the NJ Medical Marijuana Program be permanently dismantled.

  2. I STRONGLY agree! With the opiod crisis, needless deaths from accidental overdoses, some people live with terribly disabling chronic pain. Marijuana eases pain in a LOT of people, to limit it so severely flies in the face of reason. We're a democratic state, c'mon.